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‘High probability’ Atlantic Cod Could be Extinct in Southern Gulf by Mid-Century

It appears the days for the Atlantic cod stock in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (SGSL) could be numbered, with the species being eaten into extinction by grey seals. “Based on current grey seal abundance and Atlantic cod productivity, our projections indicate that there is a high probability that Atlantic cod will be locally extinct in the SGSL by mid-century, even in the absence of fishing,” concludes the study, Continued decline of a collapsed population of Atlantic cod due to ...

FISH-NL Prepares for Second Membership Drive

Last fall, the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) stated it was not going away anytime soon and it appears to be sticking to those words. The fledgling labour organization made the declaration following the Oct. 1 decision by the NL Labour Relations Board decision to finally dismiss FISH-NL’s certification application. At the time, FISH-NL President Ryan Cleary told the CBC that the dismissal was not a blow but “an opportunity.” He added ...

Ropeless Gear Not a Viable Option for Now

Above: Coldwater Lobster Association members involved with the ropeless gear at-sea trials talk about their findings during a seminar presentation at the Eastern Canada Fisheries Exposition in Yarmouth on Jan. 25. Kathy Johnson photo The results of recent ropeless gear trials do not show much promise as a viable option for lobster fishing area (LFA) 34 in the event of a North Atlantic right whale closure, not without a lot of tweaking. The trials were conducted last fall by the ...

Ropeless Consortium Expands Information Exchange

Interest in ropeless fishing gear continues to grow. Presentations on ropeless gear retrieval and marking systems, experimental gear testing, experimental fisheries, regulatory and policy change, market interests and investment opportunities were on the agenda when the international Ropeless Consortium met for its annual meeting at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, MA on November 6. Comprised of scientists, conservationists, researchers, fishermen and “like-minded people ...

Eastern Canadian Fisheries Expo Wraps Up Record-Breaking Event in Yarmouth

One of Canada’s longest-running, most successful commercial fishing shows wrapped up at the Yarmouth Mariners Centre on January 26.  The Eastern Canadian Fisheries Exposition, presented in partnership with the Navigator Magazine, welcomed 4,813 commercial fishing professionals over the course of two days.  “The first day of the show was like nothing we’ve ever seen in this venue,” said Show Manager, Shawn Murphy. “It was a door-busting crowd — we even had to ...

Experimental Redfish Fishery ‘Too Much, Too Soon’

Concerns are being expressed that an experimental 2,500-tonne redfish fishery underway in the Gulf of St. Lawrence is “too much, too soon” for the Unit 1 stock that is showing positive growth. “This hurts all the Maritime provinces,” said Jan Voutier, finfish manager at Louisbourg Seafoods in Nova Scotia, one of the biggest buyers and producers of redfish from the Gulf. “This is being driven by non-participants in the industry that had none or very little participation in the ...

Possibility for a Busy 2019 Ice Season

Navigating the ice-filled water of Atlantic Canada is no easy task. However, keeping the shipping lanes open to commercial and fishing traffic is not exactly a walk in the park either. One of the Canadian Coast Guard’s (CCG) primary roles in this region is icebreaking. The CCG recently provided its annual technical briefing outlining the upcoming ice season. Brad Durnford, superintendent of ice operations for the Atlantic Region, said it is possible the 2019 ice season could be a ...

Millions in Funding Announced at CCFAM Meeting

Government funding appeared to be flowing freely at the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM) meeting in St. John’s in early December. Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Jonathan Wilkinson and Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources for Newfoundland and Labrador, the Honourable Gerry Byrne, co-chaired the meeting attended by their counterparts and representatives from all provinces and territories. The ministers said they renewed their ...

2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Inductees

Cecil Pitcher Mariner Cecil Pitcher was born in 1931, in the small, isolated town of St. Jones Without, Trinity Bay. When he became old enough, he started fishing with his father, two brothers and his uncle. They fished cod from a trapskiff using cod traps and long lines. The family moved from St. Jones Without to Heart’s Content in 1952. They continued the cod fishery there using their trapskiffs until 1971, when they purchased a larger and more modern 45-foot longliner, the Henry and ...

Dire Predictions for 2019 N.L. Snow Crab Fishery

Above: David Greening Photo In a fishery that has been shrinking significantly over the last few years, the outlook for Newfoundland and Labrador snow crab might be worse than many were anticipating. Scientists with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) recently informed harvesters that the province’s valuable crab stocks are not in good shape at all. In fact, DFO is warning that 80 per cent of the snow crab in the waters off the province’s shores are now smaller than ...